Monday, May 30, 2016

East Coast Memorial in Battery Park

The East Coast Memorial is one of three memorials in the United States administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission,  which include the West Coast World War II Memorial in San Francisco overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, and the National Memorial of the Pacific in the Punchbowl  (“Hill of Sacrifice” ) in  Honolulu, Hawaii. All these three memorials  are dedicated to servicemen who were lost or buried at sea in World War II.


In Honolulu the engraved names of almost 29,000 heroes from World War II, Vietnam, and Korean wars who were designated Missing In Action, Lost, or Buried at Sea are honored in the ten ‘Courts of the Missing’.
 West Coast World War II Memorial  in San Francisco ,  overlooking the Pacific Ocean,  bears the names of 413 members of the armed forces  who were   buried at sea in U.S. Pacific waters between 1941 and 1945.


The East Coast Memorial in New York is dedicated to the servicemen  who  lost their lives in the Atlantic Ocean. The names  are inscribed on  eight large gray granite slabs located with the 25-acre Battery Park in Downtown  New York. Looking between the slabs, you can see the ocean and  the Statue of Liberty.
The centerpiece of the East Coast Memorial is a massive bronze eagle set on a black granite pedestal. The eagle was designed  by Italian sculptor Albino Manca.

Manca studied on scholarship at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome and took several prizes there in 1926 and 1927. Manca executed a number of portrait busts of the Italian royal family and one of Mussolini.  Mussolini  was so impressed with Manca's work that he  helped fund his permanent move to America in 1938.


The granite slabs were set up in October 1959, while the sculpture was installed on February 4, 1963. The memorial was dedicated by President John F. Kennedy on May 23, 1963 at a ceremony. During his address   President Kennedy reflected that, even though World Wars 1 and 2 offered the promise of lasting peace when they ended – the conflicts, the burden of burying the dead as the result of ongoing war, was still going on.
There is an inscription on the pedestal of eagle , back:
In addition to the 4,597  American servicemen honored here who lost their lives in her service and who sleep in the American coastal waters of the Atlantic ocean,  the United States of America  honors   the  6,185  seamen of the United States merchant marine and 529 seamen of the United States transport service who lost their lives during World War Two.